Hawthorn, the most successful AFL team of the last 40 years, has in recent times always provided plenty of milestone stats to keep the stats nuts happy.
This year will be no different. Although the club stunned supporters by clearing the 3rd greatest game player at the club (Sam Mitchell) to West Coast Eagles and the equal 11th greatest game player (Jordan Lewis) to Melbourne, they still have three Top 20 players who should move steadily up the rankings in 2017 and give their supporters something to celebrate: Captain Luke Hodge currently sits in 8th position on 286 games and would appear a very good chance to join Kelvin Moore in 7th place on exactly 300 games. From there, it is a very short journey to 307 games which would move him to equal third with Mitchell, along the way passing Don Scott, Chris Langford and Shane Crawford.
Grant Birchall, currently equal 15th with Robert DiPierdomenico, would be hoping to leave him behind, to pass John Kennedy, to achieve 250 games, and even catch John Platten in 13th Place.
Jarryd Roughead, who returns to the Hawthorn list after a fight with cancer last year would receive his just reward if he can pass the 250 game mark and – along the way – pass Graham Arthur, “Dipper” and John Kennedy.
Amongst the club’s goal kickers, they would be rapt to regain Jarryd Roughhead, the #6 all time goal kicker at the club. Although highly unlikely to improve his position on the list, supporters should be able to cheer his 500th goal in the first third of the season.
Three other Top 20 goal kickers at the club are still playing, and both Luke Bruest and Cyril Rioli will be chances to bring up the 300 goals whilst Jack Gunston may have to wait until 2018 for the same milestone.
In the lower games played ranks, Cyril Rioli, Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Liam Shiels, Luke Breust, Ben Stratton, Isaac Smith and Paul Puopolo have already made the Top 100 game players.
Similarly, Luke Hodge, Paul Puopolo, Isaac Smith and Shaun Burgoyne will improve their standings on the Top 100 goal kicking lists.